Making gigantic jets fly is a precise science, and nothing requires more precision than the engine. A spinning system of extreme temperatures and pressures, the turbine blades within are built to withstand incredible conditions – but foreign objects such as a large bird passing through the engine can be enough to cause accidents.
It is therefore an extremely bad idea to insert small metal objects – maybe coins, for example – into said engines prior to staking your entire life on them as they power you up around 10,670 meters (35,000 feet) into the sky.
One man missed this snippet of advice and reportedly decided to throw six small coins, delicately wrapped in red paper, into the engine of a plane waiting for departure for "good luck" whilst boarding his flight from Weifang, China. Mr Wang, who was hoping for a smooth takeoff and journey to his destination of Haikou, was looking for blessings and tossed the handful towards the engine, unknowingly sabotaging the entire flight. The airline company, Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines, released the information in a post to Weibo recently.
In a testament to the outstanding pre-flight checks done before takeoff, officials on the scene noticed a small collection of coins below the engine and made an alert. Shortly after, Wang admitted to throwing the coins in, and the flight was canceled. Unfortunately for the 148 passengers, while Wang was detained by police, they were forced to wait until the next morning to be on their way.
Somewhat surprisingly, this is certainly not the first time coins have been thrown into plane engines. Back in February 2019, 28-year-old Lu Chao was forced to pay $17,200 (£13,100) after he threw coins into a jet engine for good luck. The court heard that airlines should make it abundantly clear not to throw coins into the engines of planes and there is a distinct lack of warnings, as clearly common sense is not enough.
"You must abide by civil aviation regulations when traveling by plane," translates the conclusion of the airline's Weibo post. "The mission of ensuring flight safety, please feel free to leave it to us."